The Heat is On!


Most traditional UI residence halls (Burge, Daum, Currier, Stanley, Hillcrest, Slater, Rienow & Quad) are heated with steam. Unlike your furnace at home, a simple flip of a switch on your household thermostat does not control these complex systems. The beginning of the heating or cooling season may be uncomfortable for awhile as building controls are fine tuned.  In many cases, particularly in the older buildings, the heating systems are much different than the “fast to react” heating and cooling methods used in our homes. With steam heat, it is difficult to quickly adjust to sudden temperature changes. The bottom line is:  if you have followed the techniques in this article and you are still uncomfortable with your room temperature, please contact your 24 hour desk and file a work order.

In each residence hall room that is heated with steam, the heat can be individually controlled. There is a control valve to each radiator in all student rooms. These valves are either a black control knob on the lower right or left of the radiator or behind a small hinged door on the radiator cabinet. Turning the valve counter-clockwise all the way will allow the maximum amount of steam to flow through the valve, heating the room to a high temperature. Turning the valve all the way clockwise turns off the steam, reducing heat to the room.

As for our other residence halls - Mayflower rooms are serviced by one unit that provides both heating and air conditioning, although not at the same time. Students need to set the dial on the units to a temperature that is comfortable for all residents. Parklawn and Centerstone Apartments have gas heat, which is similar to what is in private homes. Dubuque and Bloomington Houses have hot water heat controlled by a thermostat. For questions on the operation of heat in your room, contact your building information desk or RA.

Your room will be more evenly and efficiently heated if you keep the desk, bed, boxes, etc., at least one foot away from the bottom, front and top of your radiator. It is important that there is unrestricted air flow around the entire radiator. Opening windows will cause the heater to increase heat output. Try to regulate temperature with the heat valve first.

It is critical that you do not use the air conditioner, if there is one in your room, once the heat is turned on. Damage may occur if the air conditioner is used during the winter months and you will be billed for damage if we find that the damage occurred due to misuse or use in cold weather. Please remember to report any heat problems to your building information desk.